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Parthasarathi Temple

The Parthasarathy Temple situated in Aranmula near Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala is dedicated to Parthasarathy or Lord Krishna. This temple dates back to the days of the Mahabharata and is one of the oldest temples in South India. A famous pilgrim place for Hindus, this temple is associated with the famous snake boat race. It is held as a part of the festival in August-September.

Aranmula is also famed for its hand-made mirrors made of polished metal called the "Aranmula Kannadi". "Aranmula Uthrattathi Vallamkali", the annual snake boat race is the major attraction here. Devotees and tourists from all over the world come here to see this boat race which is conducted on the river Pampa. It is held on the last day of the weeklong Onam festival as a part of the temple tradition. The Vijnana Kala Vedi at Aranmula imparts training in the traditional arts like Kathakali, classical dances, classical music, and Kalaripayattu. Foreign tourists usually stay here for long periods to get a firsthand knowledge of the culture of Kerala. The Parthasarathy Temple has fine murals from the 18th century.

Another festival celebrated here is the Khandava Dahanam celebrated in the Malayalam month of Dhanus. A replica of a forest is created as a part of this festival in front of the Parthasarathy Temple with dried plants, leaves and twigs. Then a bonfire is lit symbolizing the Khandavana forest fire of the Mahabharata.
The Malayalam month of Meenam also witnesses a festival where Lord Parthasarathy is taken in a grand procession on the garuda mount to the Pampa river bank, where an image of the Bhagawati from the nearby Punnamthode temple is brought in procession for the Aarattu festival.

Thus while visiting the Parthasarathy Temple; you can have an absolute experience of the rich cultural heritage and grandeur of Kerala.

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